There were many films released this year, from "Spiderman 3" to "Shrek 3," and everything in between ("Pirates of the Caribbean 3"). But only 10 films could make my prestigious list of the 10 best films of the year, as chosen by me, Ricky Sprague. I wish you would read the list to see what I thought didn't waste my time this year, which was an exceptional one for film. Here is the list:
#10: "The Painful End of the Office Romance" In this short film, director Ricky Sprague manages to convey all of the mind-numbing fear and pain associated with pursuing a romantic liaison in the context of a work setting. The brilliance of this film is hard to deny; just ask the hundreds of people who have already viewed it, and been surprised by what they saw. This one gets my stamp of approval.
#8: "Dr BJ Episode 2" In this second helping of the Dr BJ saga, we learn a little more about the personality of this abrasive, some might say acerbic, yet brilliant doctor. He can only rely on himself, his own biggest fan, as graphically depicted in this moving yet humorous film from director Ricky Sprague.
#7: "Bed Shittin' Rich" Director Ricky Sprague collaborates for the first time with musician Jeff Porterfield (who provided the music) for this compelling and masterful psychological study of one man whose idea of success is both disturbing and hilarious. Deeply moving, and highly recommended.
#5: "Dr BJ Episode 3: The Trial" And just why is Dr BJ, that acerbic genius, so damned acerbic? Well, this short film compelling answers that question, and shows that Dr BJ is more than just an acerbic genius; he is also a complicated character with deep emotions. Another winner from director Ricky Sprague.
#4: "Dr BJ" The first part of the "Dr BJ Trilogy" (assuming no other films are made), this was an acerbic blast of fresh air that has taken the world by storm, having been viewed by tens of thousands of people, arguably more people than watched "Viva Laughlin" on CBS. Regardless, director Ricky Sprague hits all the high notes in this careful examination of just how far a patient will go to save his life. Tough questions in a year in which health care is foremost in the minds of voters. I don't want to say this film will help decide who wins the presidency next year, but I will say that voters who don't consider this compelling film before entering the voting booth are idiots.
#3: "Nookie Man 14,000" Director Ricky Sprague shows off his subtle side, in a film whose humor is so subtle, most people don't recognize it as such. When one man is chosen to represent earth in an intergalactic sex competition, all of humanity's foibles are exposed. The twist at the end makes an already uncomfortable scenario about ten times worse, because you recognize yourself therein.
#2: "Joyeux du Oignon et Noel" Who hasn't walked in on their parents during an "intimate" moment? Director Ricky Sprague takes that scenario and turns it on its head, adding a special "Christmas" twist to the proceedings, in a cynical attempt to cash in on that ridiculous holiday. It worked brilliantly, at least from a creative standpoint.
#1: "Sperm! The Motion Picture" Ricky Sprague and co scenarist Chris Gortz lovingly craft a compelling science fictional study of one man's search for the elusive male orgasm. What happens when a man who cannot ejaculate is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into his own testicle? By setting the story in the year of America's bicentennial, a political/imperial/social element is added, and the film takes on even greater significance. The award-nominated song "Smallinator (The Love Theme From 'Sperm! The Motion Picture')" also exists, and pushes this film to the top spot in this prestigious list.
A fantastic year for film. One can only hope 2008 is better.
Monday, December 31, 2007
There were many films released this year, from "Spiderman 3" to "Shrek 3," and everything in between ("Pirates of the Caribbean 3"). But only 10 films could make my prestigious list of the 10 best films of the year, as chosen by me, Ricky Sprague. I wish you would read the list to see what I thought didn't waste my time this year, which was an exceptional one for film. Here is the list:
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Dr BJ hit an astonishing 50,000 views on Funny or Die this weekend. That is the greatest milestone in the history of the internet, and halfway to 100,000 views, which would be an even greater accomplishment. Hooray for Dr BJ, the greatest hero in America:
Friday, December 28, 2007
I am a Hollywood insider with lots of insight into the comings and goings of the Hollywood lifestyle and system. Everyone waits for my predictions, they wait with trepidation and etc. Well I am back here today to make my predictions for the new weekend.
Last weekend's grosses were up, and ensured another up year at the box office. Will this trend continue? Only by reading the below will you get the answer.
1. NICOLAS TREASURE, BOOK OF CAGE: Audiences were in love with this sequel in the "Nicolas Treasure" franchise, as my sources tell me they were delighted that this "four quadrant" picture (appealing to the different races and sexes) that was a bonanza for the marketing people. (Check out deals they struck with McDonald's for Happy Meal toys, and The PlayPen for dildoes and merkins.) Star Nicolas Cage, who dabbles in comic book scripting, is said to be looking for another sequel to do, and I'd love to offer him a look at my spec script for a sequel to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" entitled "Lunch at Tiffany's," set in a postapocalyptic wasteland in which gasoline is a scarcity people are willing to kill for. Anyway, just a thought. This film should pull in another $893 million, as it is tracking quite well.
2. I AM STILL WILL SMITH: Awareness is actually at over 100% for this film, which is a dream for the marketing people (see above). (I say "over 100%" because it's tracking particularly well with fetuses.) No one doesn't like Will Smith, and if they do, they are jerks. He is the only star who appeals to both women, men, black people, white people, Hispanic people, and Asian people. This film should continue to outperform all expectations, particularly difficult because expectations are being adjusted upward by about 15% (accountants!). A $934 million weekend wouldn't be out of the question.
3. CHIPMUNKS! THE MUSICAL: The lovable Chipmunks return in their first and best big-screen adventure. Haven't gotten around to seeing this one yet, but I'm told the kids today love their talking animals, so look for this one to continue to perform well (it also has the benefit of being a "three quadrant" picture, appealing as it does to the young and old alike. The ending, in which the three lovable 'munks are put to sleep after they become rabid, is controversial, to say the least. Nevertheless, expect another $523 million from this heartwarming picture!
4. THE MASTER DEBATERS: Challenging film probing the exciting world of high school debate teams. If you love to watch high schoolers stand at podiums and talk, then this is definitely the film for you! Look for about $569 million this weekend, for an impressive cume, helped by the recent Golden Globe noms, which have got people talking in Kansas and Nebraska.
5. SWEETY T, THE DEMON DANCER OF BEAT STREET: Johnny Depp plays a man who seeks to get revenge on the people who killed his family by becoming the best breakdancer in the world. Although period pieces don't track well, this film's awareness is through the roof, thanks to its incredible star power. Unfortunately, the people who know about are only 43% interested in seeing it, so I'm expecting a modest $963 million this weekend (thanks to it playing in only about half the theaters of Will Smith's film, the per screen average will be an impressive $amount).
6. WATER CLOSET, LEGEND OF THE BATHROOM: A giant monster attacks from people's toilets. Or does it? Perhaps it's just a legend cooked up by inbred hillbilly redneck yokels to drum up interest in their otherwise uninteresting backwoods "holler"? It turns out that it is (spoiler alert), but the police shoot the child who discovers the truth, and everyone sells t-shirts and lives happily ever after. A tough sell, especially in a Holiday season when awareness is what counts (awareness on this film is, pun intended, in the toilet), so my gurus are expecting a lower-than-expected $412 million, although my sources tell me the studio is lowering expectations even more, down to the mid $410 millions.
7. CHARLIE WILSON VS ALIEN VS PREDATOR: Tom Hanks tackles his toughest accent yet as he plays a real-life Senator who used his political clout to arm the Aliens in their fight against the Predator. The ending of the film, which suggests that the Aliens then turned around and used those very same weapons to attack US citizens, is highly controversial, especially with the real-life Charlie Wilson, who claims to not even believe in Aliens. The controversy can only help, as can the casting of Julia Roberts as the Alien, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Predator. Look for an impressiver-than-average $678 million this weekend, for a new cume of $679.4 million.
8. ENCHANTED!: Yes! Finally! This is the film that sends me into fits of ecstatic fancy! Oh my gosh I cannot stand this enchantment! And the new commercial, with the poem, is so endearing that audiences are flocking to return for second and third steaming helpings of enchantment! Pants are definitely optional on this one, and a $345 million weekend would bring its cume to a well-deserved $8793395 billion with a b.
9. THE FUCKET LIST: Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play a couple of elderly men who are diagnosed with cancer, and only have a few months left to live. Wait, don't turn away like that. It's actually very uplifting. They each makes lists of women they'd like to sleep with. Then they go out and sleep with them. At the top of Jack's list is Lindsay Lohan, whom he meets in rehab. Morgan goes after Amy Adams, the enchanting star of Enchanted. Later, they have a four-way, and finally come to realize that they were in love, not just platonic love but actual romantic physical love with each other, and end up in bed together, and then die in each others arms. Oh shoot, sorry spoiler alert there. Anyway, although it's a tough sell, audiences love Nicholson and Freeman, so look for about $432 million this weekend, for a per-screen average of whatever that number is divided by the number of screens it's playing on, and then you do something else to the number. Dammit I'm not an accountant.
10. JUNO: As this film expands into more theaters, it will continue to do better and better. Eventually it will be the number one movie in the world, but for now it will have to settle for number 10 this week (I think it deals with the subject of teenage sexuality in a frank and erotic manner). Look for about $3.4 million Friday, $67 million Saturday (matinees), and $45 million Sunday, thanks to a great radio ad campaign in cities like Chicago and San Francisco.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Or, maybe not of all time, but my five favorite Xmuss songs are embedded below:
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, "Fairytale of New York":
The Kinks, "Father Christmas":
Tom Waits, "Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis":
Robert Earl Keen, "Merry Christmas From the Family":
Tiny Tim, "Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year":
If these songs don't put you in the mood, then I pity you. Merry You-know-what.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
There are many people who believe that Jane Austen is the greatest of all the female writers, and I am willing to give these people the benefit of the doubt, as they have probably not read as much as I have, including many female writers. For instance, as good as Jane Austen might be as a writer, to my knowledge she never wrote a book about a man who gets his face cut off, like Aphra Behn did. Nor did she ever write a novel about a woman who makes love with a dead person (“Wuthering Heights”), as one of the Bronte sisters did. And she probably didn’t have an affair with another woman, as George Sand did (with Kate Chopin-- by the way, “George Sand” is a pseudonym for a woman with a woman’s name), although that doesn’t reflect on her writing, I believe that in order to be an effective writer, the author must have studied all aspects of erotic play, most especially should women writers indulge their Sapphic instincts. Regardless, this is not to diminish the accomplishments of Jane Austen, as I will illuminate right now.
As always, these notes are meant only to be a starting-off point for the serious student. They are no substitute for a reading of the actual texts.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: Although in the original publication this novel is described as being written “BY A LADY,” we know that it was Jane Austen who wrote it because it said so in the credits of the movie version. In this classic work, Emma Thompson, the older sister, represents “sense,” and Kate Winslet represents “sensibility,” based on the temperament of each sister. They go through many problems and complications because it appears that Hugh Grant is going to marry the other woman, and not Emma Thompson, and some things happen with Kate Winslet, too. Then Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson get together and Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman get together, and everyone is happy, especially the reader, who feels like he has accomplished something by reading this wonderful book.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: In this classic work, Mr Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice gets in the way of their getting married, until the end when they do get married. Sorry; spoiler alert. But between the part when Mr Darcy first proposes and gets rejected by Elizabeth, and the part when he proposes again and is accepted, you learn about all kinds of convoluted stuff, including things about how the law worked back in Jane Austen’s time. For instance, it isn’t fair that Mr Collins will inherit the Bennet estate, but that is the way the law worked back then. Also, women marry for money and status, which is kind of the way it still is today, except it’s a little bit different, since they get to keep more of the money now, and they can become famous by making a sex tape.
MANSFIELD PARK: In this novel, your favorite, the ironic thing is that Fanny, who is the best one of all, is treated as if she is inferior to her spoiled and irresponsible cousins. In fact, she is the best one of all, and is rewarded by getting to marry Edmund, although she was actually supposed to marry the other guy, and Edmund was supposed to marry Mary. What surprises the modern reader about this wonderful novel is that the author writes about alternate realities in this way, as scientists are discovering that quantum mechanics allows for worlds in which Fanny will marry the other guy, and Edmund will marry Mary.
EMMA: I will be honest with you. I did not read this book as closely as I read the other ones. I thought that Emma’s neck was too distracting. She also does not have any interest in romantic love, which is mainly what I am interested in (that and three-ways), and also mainly what attracts the modern reader to her works. I will say though, that when Emma finally gets together with Mr Knightley, you love it because it is so well written.
Jane Austen wrote many other novels, but I think that to talk about any of the other ones would diminish your enjoyment of them, when you pick them up and read them yourself for the first time. Also, I have not read them. But I have heard they are all good, and you will be thrilled by the way in which they speak to you, the modern reader, even though they are very old and illuminate a bygone era, a time before women had the option of making sex tapes to improve their status and make more money. Happy reading!
Friday, December 21, 2007
As a publishing insider, I was able to call in a few favors from some other publishing insiders, who wish to remain nameless (Paulie and Wilson) and get my hands on a manuscript copy of Lynne Spears' parenting book, which was supposed to be published Mother's Day 2008, but has been pulled indefinitely. I also got my hands on a copy of the mock-up for the cover.
As you'll read, the prose style is for want of a better word "hillbilly." But the insights provided into the raising of famous children are invaluable. Nevertheless, I didn't want to present too much because I'm afraid if someone from the publisher sees this they'll ask me to take it down. Anyway, read below:
Excerpt from “I Am A Real Mother, and You Can Be Too,” by Lynne Spears, mother of Britney Spears and Jamie Lynn Spears
I GOT THREE DAUGHTERS
Go ahead and read that chapter heading again, I can wait. It reads, “I got three daughters,” in case you couldn’t go back and read it again. You probably didn’t know that, did you? You probably just thought I got only two daughters, one goes by the name Britney, the other one goes by the name of Jamie Lynn. But them two is only the famous ones. There is another daughter too, another daughter what’s not famous. Her name ain’t important, but I would like to mention to you, the reader, about what she’s not famous for.
She’s not famous for she ain’t got the emotional maturity to be famous yet.
For you see, a real mother will take her daughters aside and say, “Are you ready to be famous?” If the girl will look the mother in the eyes and tell her that yes, she is ready, as Britney did when she is 12 years old, and you can tell by looking in her eyes that she is ready, then the real mother will take that daughter and buy her the prettiest tank top and lipstick that she can find, along with a nice short pleated skirt, and pony-tail her hair up, and take her to auditions. She will do so tirelessly, for a real mother sacrifices what her own life is for to help her daughter.
Now when you got the one daughter who is making it as a singer and a actress (“Crossroads,”) you will ask the other daughter, “Now little daughter, is you ready for to be famous?” and if she can say that yes she is ready, and you can tell from the look in her eyes just how bad she wants it, as my other daughter Jamie Lynn did want it, then you will take that second daughter out and buy her something maybe chiffon colored, and you will bleach her hair blond, and you will leverage the success of the first daughter to get the second one a tv show, on account of she’s maybe not as talented as the first one, even though she wants to be famous just as bad. Who is the mother to judge such things? To the real mother, each of them daughters is equally talented.
Now suppose you are concentrating on making sure that daughter number one stays on that righteous Christian path you set her on, and then daughter number two is also on that same path, you got to spend so much energy as a parent just making sure, that you learn all kinds of things. Well, then you ask the third daughter, “Is you ready to be famous?” and she either answers yes or no, but it doesn’t matter which way she answers, on account of you got to look in her eyes, and if you know she ain’t ready, then you don’t let her go out and be famous. That is what the real mother does.
Yes, that’s right, I got three daughters, and I am proud of each one of them. But you only know about the two you know about, for a real mother don’t send her daughters out till they is ready.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Hello. As you all know by now, I am a serious Hollywood insider, with some serious insights into the weekend box office. On this, the all-important "weekend before Christmas," the box office is traditionally volatile, and this weekend will be no exception. I feel my predictions will shake Hollywood to its very foundation, and if you don't believe it, then keep reading.
1. NATURAL TREASURE: BOOK OF PLEASURE: In this film, Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage plays Cunny Lingus, a man who attempts to discover the secrets of a legendary book which purports to contain all of former US president William McKinley's secrets for pleasing a woman, every time. In a surprise twist ending, it turns that McKinley's secret involves a surprise "twist ending." Although it's not exactly winning awards from critics (most of whom are either women or already know how to pleasure them), I think that Americans' natural curiosity on this hot topic should bring this film a lot of scratch, in the $900 million range for the weekend, for an impressive per screen average.
2. I AM STILL WILL SMITH: In his second weekend out, my gurus are tracking Will Smith's latest to hit all the high notes with shoppers who have wearied of holiday shopping, and dream of living on a planet with no other people, except Will Smith. Talk about a merry holiday! Just try and stop this film from raking in about a zillion dollars this weekend!
3. IS THAT A CHIPMUNK IN YOUR POCKET, AND IF SO, WHY DO YOU HAVE A CHIPMUNK IN YOUR POCKET?: This film's title is too long by most standards, but it is still tracking very well with children, who love talking animals, and the older children who remember these lovable talking characters from when the bloom of their own youth had not yet faded. It might seem cynical to you, but the studio is actually doing these people a favor; many of them have nothing else to look forward to, besides a quick trip down memory lane. My gurus are pointing to another big weekend, in the $450-$780 million range (I realize that's a wide range, but this isn't rocket science).
4. SWEENEY HARD: This is a musical comedy about a man who seeks revenge on the people who stole his father's sausage recipe. It is based on an actual historical figure, Sweeney Hard, although it is a fictionalized account of his life. A lot of people think that Johnny Depp might get an Academy Award nomination for this, with some saying that it's John C. Reilly's best ever performance. We'll just wait and see, but I can predict for you is an opening weekend of about $456 million, which should please the studio that bankrolled it, since it is such a hard sell. Get it? I said "hard."
5. CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR: This movie has as much star wattage from its high voltage stars that Congress should pass a law banning it for being bad for the environment! Charlie Wilson is a real person, who did something political, and Tom Hanks plays him with real verve, from what I hear. He has won an Academy Award already, as has Julia Roberts, who is also in this amazing true-life story film. Rounding out the cast is Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also won an Academy Award. Everyone who loves awards will love this film, although it is a tough sell, except for older audiences. I'm expecting it to earn in the high $250s of millions, for an impressive cume.
6. ENCHANTED: I can't say enough about this enchanting film, so I won't say anything at all. Look for another impressive weekend of about $328 million, bringing its numbers to an impressive total.
7. SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS: This family comedy/drama stars an impressive ensemble as they try to make sense of the family dynamic in a world in which Christmas is threatened, probably by the disappearance of Santa, or some member of the family. It will pull at your heartstrings even as it touches your funny bone. How could it not make at least $234 million this weekend, the weekend before Christmas?
8. ATONEMENT FOR OLD MEN: If you like your drama with a heaping helping of guilt, and a bunch of old men who are trying to kill each other, then this awards favorite is for you! And America will respond in the positive, to the tune of $34 million Friday, $45 million Saturday (matinees), and $23 million Sunday.
9. THE POPE IS AWESOME: The film "The Golden Compass" will change its title this weekend to try to attract more viewers, and hide itself from God, who is really angry about it. Won't help, however, as it will only earn about $134 million this weekend, for a disappointing $657 million cume (although my sources tell me its overseas numbers are through the roof, and thanks to the exchange rate, that's where the real money is).
10. JUNO: This is a sweet little film I know very little about. Apparently, a girl gets pregnant, which sounds alright to me, since I like movies about sex. I would be surprised if this film didn't make at least oh let's call it $100 million this weekend, which would be extremely impressive given the fact that it's only in 14 theaters.
That's it for this weekend! Happy Holidays!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Okay, this is a H*U*G*E scandal, with a capital "SCA"! My sources are telling me that all of Brit's efforts to gain the attention of Republican presidential hopeful Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee have been for naught, because the Southern Baptist satyr only has eyes for her younger sister, Jamie Lynn! The Zooey 101 star just revealed today that she is preggers, but she hasn't revealed the whole story: That the father of the bastard fetus is F*ckabee! My sources tell me that F*ckabee is annoyed as hell with the nymphet because a) she told him she was on the pill, and b) she told him she was much older than 16! While 16 might be the legal age of consent in F*ckabee's home state of Arkansas (or it might not be, how the hell would I know?), the state of California, where Jamie Lynn resides, is not nearly as "progressive," and the Attorney General (a Democrat) is looking at possible statutory rape charges!
Strangely, this hasn't affected F*ckabee's surge in the polls-- if anything, it seems to have helped him, since his poll numbers have risen in key early primary states since the news broke! Farlowe Fanshaw, a registered Republican in the great state of Iowa, tells me that he intends to caucus for F*ckabee: "He's a good Christian; you can tell that because she's not getting an abortion. None of the women he's knocked up are getting abortions, and the people who are dredging this up are just out to get him because he's not rich like Romney or a cross dresser like Giuliani."
In this highly dubious undated photo, we see F*ckabee with Jamie Lynn, allegedly before the tryst that led to Jamie's "condition"! On a personal note, I'm not gay, but I would definitely hit that-- the man is buff!
Anyway, good luck "Huckalynn"!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'm exercising my investigative journalism muscle for this all-true tale of a successful Hollywood executive's scandalous past. Please enjoy it, but also let it serve as a warning. Names obviously changed, mostly to protect my standing as a Hollywood insider.
"Yeah, it was a pretty sweet racket we had going," the young man says, leaning back in his seat, sucking languidly on a cigarette. "We could pretty much do whatever the hell we wanted, and nobody even tried to stop us."
The young man, whom I will call "Stuckey", is referring to his former life as a criminal. He and his friends ("posse") had a creative way of covering their crimes so that, even when they were discovered, they were able to elude capture. Their secret? Just bring a camera along, and pretend they were part of the magic of Hollywood.
Stuckey says he was inspired by one of the most bizarre murders in LA history. Two summers ago, four men set up what appeared to be a movie set in the middle of the sidewalk on Gower Street, near Paramount studios. There was a man holding a camera, another with a "boom" microphone, one director, and an actor. The "actor" then attacked a man named Charlton Wenniman, while the "director" shouted instructions. Over 200 people stood round the spectacle and watched for twenty minutes as Wenniman was beaten, stabbed, shot, hanged, and repeatedly run over by a steamroller. Some in the audience even cheered Wenniman's convincing "performance". The four men then got into their vehicle and fled.
After about five minutes, most people had moved on with their lives, but those who had remained to see the convincing "actor" get up off the pavement, became alarmed. At length, one figure stepped out from the crowd, walked to the pasty corpse, nudged it gently with a foot, and said, pathetically, "Daddy? Are you okay?"
The killers have not yet been caught. Ironic, considering the nature of and number of witnesses to the crime. Eyewitnesses even disagreed even as to what kind of vehicle the killers drove. Some described it as a 1973 VW bus; others claimed to have seen a late model Honda Accord. At the time, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "It doesn't really matter what they drove away in. We won't catch them anyway."
The obvious question at this point becomes, "Stuckey, was you one of the killers of Carlton Wenniman?" To which Stuckey replies, "No, sir, I was not. But those people were definitely an inspiration to me. And I took it to the next level."
"The next level" is, of course, breaking and entering. Stuckey himself claims to have gone on no less than 100 such excursions, and actually estimates he may have done as many as 300. "And I know a few people who between them have probably done 300 more themselves," he says.
The scenario was this: Stuckey, along with his "posse", (I'll call them "Veronica", "Jughead", and "Stuckey #2"), selected a house into which they wanted to break. One of them, usually Jughead (although it doesn't really matter which, since I can't remember which one Jughead is anymore), held the camera. The others then broke into the house.
Their criteria for selecting a house were simple: They chose a house which was big, and had lots of things in it.
While breaking into the house, Jughead filmed. The others then filled bags with whatever they saw of value. Items such as VCR's, TV's, jewelry, cash, and, of course, video cameras, were especially prized. If anyone protested, even the owners of the home, Stuckey simply pointed to the camera and explained that it's all just part of the magic of Hollywood.
"One time," Stuckey says, a wide grin splitting his face, "this guy comes out of the house--we'd just busted his window, right? And he comes out and he says, 'What're you doing?' And I says, 'We're shooting a movie.' And he says, 'Why are you using my house?' And I gave him some bullshit about it matching the house in the script, and then he says, 'Oh,' and then he asks if he can watch us film."
Stuckey says he let him.
Another favorite story of Stuckey's concerns a house he robbed in Anaheim. When the owner of the house caught Stuckey and his posse robbing her home and complained to them about it, they offered the usual excuse that they were shooting a movie. When the woman, unmoved, demanded that they leave immediately, Stuckey offered her a role in the "film" he was shooting. She was still not satisfied and told them to leave, but Stuckey ignored her protests and shouted inane directions at her, such as, "Pretend you don't want us to break into your house," and "Pretend you're angry at us for stealing that silverware."
"She was standing there, going ape shit about her stuff getting stolen, and I was talking to her about motivation!" Stuckey says, chuckling.
The most brazen of Stuckey's jobs had to be the one that turned out to be his last, the one which finally convinced him to retire from using a camera to cover his crimes. While breaking into a home in West Hollywood at about two am one Saturday night, he and his posse woke the slumbering residents inside. Instead of coming out to see what the commotion was, the owners of the home immediately called the police, who arrived in only a few minutes.
"We got sloppy on that one," Stuckey says, his voice betraying only a hint of the trepidation he must have felt at the time. "We'd never had to deal with the cops before."
As it turned out, of course, Stuckey needn't have worried. When the policemen arrived and asked Stuckey and his friends what they were doing, Stuckey calmly and clearly explained to the police officers that they were filming a movie about a group of freedom fighters from the future who go back in time to gather possessions of people who will be famous in the future.
"I think it was a 'Twilight Zone' episode or something," Stuckey says, playfully.
The policemen seemed unconvinced, at first. "Then I offered them parts in my movie. They loved that."
Stuckey cast the two policemen as, well, two policemen, who are attacked by "nerve rays" that discombobulate their brain centers long enough that they are forced against their better judgment to help the thieves of the future carry the loot to their time machine, which is disguised as an early 1970's VW bus.
And, as Jughead filmed, the policemen helped Stuckey and his friends rob the home. When the owners complained that the police should quit stealing their stuff and arrest the "filmmakers," one of the policemen told them, "Shut up. We're trying to make a movie here."
All of which, of course, was captured on tape by Jughead. Stuckey claims to have no knowledge as to how that tape ended up in the hands of reporters at Fox 11 News. The tape not only cost the police officers in question a week's salary, but also served as a wake-up call to residents in the Hollywood area.
Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, issued a statement which read, in part, "Just because someone has got a video camera, does not give them carte blanche to do whatever the heck they want. And for Gosh sake, no reputable film company is going to allow their crews to break into someone's home without first getting their permission."
Stuckey says it was at this point that he saw the handwriting on the wall, and decided to give up his life of crime, and pursue honest work. "When that tape aired on 11, I figured it was about time to move on to something else. Time to move to something a little more stable, a little more reliable. But I also crave excitement, of course. I think I found the perfect solution."
Stuckey's perfect solution came when executives at a major film production company, after seeing some of his work, offered him a production deal. And it wasn't long before Stuckey found himself running the company, after the people who'd hired him were let go.
Some people may find it ironic that a former criminal would be the president of a film company, however small, but Stuckey simply shrugs and flips through the screenplay of a movie he's just green-lighted. "This one I think has a lot of potential," he says. "I can't tell you exactly what the story is, but it's a clever little sci-fi film with a budget of about $150 million or so. Watch for it next summer."
Dr BJ hit magic number 45,759 views!
Dr BJ 2 hit magic number 25,195 views!
Joyeux du Oignon hit magic number 11,021 views!
Bed Shittin' Rich hit magic number 9,614 views!
Nookie Man 14,000 hit magic number 5,425 views!
(All on Funny or Die.) I've embedded them below, as I love to do:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Oh geez here we go again. I'm a real Hollywood insider, with my finger onthe pulse of Hollywood, and of America. Tonight, moreover, I am slightly inebriated from an evening of debauch that is still ongoing. I want to get my weekend predictions in as quickly as possible so that the Hollywood community can look them over and plan for their weekends accordingly, and so that I can get back to the trapezing in the next room. Okay? Okay!
1. I AM WILL SMITH: Will Smith takes on his toughest role ever, when he plays himself as the last real man on earth. Everyone else is just a mindless zombie, except for Will Smith, who is charismatic as usual. I expect audiences to flock to this picture to see what it is really like when a real man like Will Smith is left to take care of all the mess that is left behind when a bunch of people who are not Will Smith abandon earth with only zombies left to populate it. Americans love this kind of entertainment, and they will not be denied this week, as it opens to what I'm expecting will be a healthy per-screen average of $28,764.18, for a fanciful total of $903 million this weekend!
2. I AM ALVIN, OF THE CHIPMUNKS: In this fanciful family film, Jason Lee plays the guy who owns three lovable, singing rodents. They spend much of the film signing record deals and trying to avoid Richard Gere (although that part might not have made the film's final cut). While for myself, I find the premise of singing rodents disturbing, in particular the clip in which one of the rodents sits on the guy's face and pees on his face, I know that families love to flock to this type of fare, which is supposedly appropriate for the entire family. My gurus are predicting big things from this film, and a $765 million opening weekend isn't out of the question.
3. I AM ENCHANTED: I wrote "I Am Enchanted" because I am. This enchanting film is still using its power of enchantment, which is frankly a little disturbing if I'm being honest, to enchant audiences all over the world. My gurus tell me that the overseas numbers are also striking, in the high hundreds of millions of dollars, except in countries where they use the barter system rather than currency (some countries charge admission in the form of chickens, or hamburger meat). A $444 million weekend should have Hollywood saying, "Wow! I don't believe it!"
4. THE PERFECT HOLIDAY: This film is aimed at families, who rule the box office in this magical time of year. It is important to be with your family, even if you can't stand them, or especially if they can't stand you. Maybe they say to you, "No, that's okay, you can just stay at your own home this year, don't go to the trouble of coming to visit." And then you can say, "Okay, that makes it easy," and then you hang up the phone and cry and cry and cry because you wanted them to want you to come to see them. I predict this film will make lots of money from the family market, and maybe if it makes $400 million this weekend Hollywood will take notice.
5. THE GOLDEN POMPOUS: Nicole Kidman plays this woman from a fanciful world in which each human is assigned an animal companion. Her animal companion is a singing rodent named Alvin. Next, Daniel Craig, who played James Bond, comes in with a big bear. The bear eats the rodent, and everyone is enchanted! As I said last week, this movie has made God angry, so go see it at your own risk. $345 million Friday to Sunday should be a big number, but I expect the Sunday matinees to make up the difference.
6. THIS CHRISTMAS: Everyone loves to be with family for the holidays, especially if it's not your real family, but a fanciful family of the silver screen. My gurus are telling me that this film has "legs," and that a $45 million Friday, $87 million Saturday and $65 million Sunday would add up to a very large number.
7. HUCKABEEOWULF: Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is surprising everyone with his star turn in this half animation half live action all fun piece of enchantment especially aimed at older families. When the dragon at the end turns out to be a metaphor for AIDS patients, you know that only heroic Huckabeeowulf can save humankind! $325 million this weekend? More like $354 million!
8. THE KITE RUNNER: Small children figure prominently in this story of a kite competition, where the children build their own kites to compete against the other children! It's fun on top of fun as each of the children overcomes some kind of serious challenge, like mental retardation and hunger! Who will win this kite competition!? Only people who go see this uplifting and upbeat film will know the answer for sure (it's the retarded kid)! I'm betting it will take in at least $645 million, because who doesn't love kites? Only evil people, that's who.
9. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: In our youth-obsessed world, what is to become of our old men? That is the question raised by this provocative Coen brothers film, featuring Tommy Lee Jones as an old man who is looking for one last turn on the wheel of life. America loves stories of redemption! Take the children to see these "old men" in action! Hollywood will be stunned by the $576 million weekend I'm predicting!
10. ENCHANTED: This film is so enchanting, it will actually appear twice in the top 10! That's how enchanted it is! That old Disney magic works its enchanting spell for $34 million Friday, $578 million Saturday (thanks largely to the fact that the kids have the day off), and a whopping $978 million Sunday that will have this film barely making the top 10!
So much for this weekend's predictions! Now I'm counting on you, the readers, to make these predictions a reality by going out and seeing the films! Myself, I have a trapeze to get back to!
I think VideoIskalnik might be a Russian site. It's right here.
And, apparently, my directorial debut "Sperm! The Motion Picture" went over so well "down under" that another festival there wants to screen it. The Peats Ridge Music And Arts Festival runs from Dec 29-Jan 1 in Glenworth Valley. It is obviously worth your time!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
My sources tell me that smoldering Republican presidential hopeful Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee is furious with starlet Jessica Alba over her recent pregnancy announcement! F*ckabee is worried that the news might derail his insurgent presidential campaign! Upon hearing the announcement, F*ckabee, who was romantically linked to the divine Ms Alba as recently as whenever this dubious photo was taken (I think it was a Lakers game-- look at the intensity in F*ckabee's eyes as he cheers on his beloved basketballers!), is alleged to have flown into a rage, complaining that Alba assured him that she was "on the pill," and he had nothing to worry about! Apparently, F*ckabee is no fan of condoms because he says they limit the sensation of pleasure, and believes that since it's the woman who gets pregnant, it's her responsibility to take measures to prevent it!
F*ckabee's attitude has left Ms Alba, who dreams of one day being First Lady, distraught and confused! For now, her publicist is insisting that the impending child's father is someone else, but that could change if F*ckabee takes the Oath of Office in January 2008! Stay tuned! For now we'll just have to hope things work out for the best for "Albabee"!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Oops, she did it again! Britney's been unable to get the attention of her dream man, Republican presidential hopeful Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee, so in a desperate attempt to win his affections, she's gone to ice and snow-covered Iowa with plans of putting on a big show on behalf of his campaign! My source tells me that Brit was so impressed by Oprah Winfrey's recent appearances stumping for Democrat Barack Obama that she's decided to emulate the talk queen! The troubled pop sensation is convinced that her starpower is at least as bright as Oprah's, and that this will show to "F*ckabee" that she's a serious contender for his affections!
As further evidence of her dedication, as seen in this extremely dubious photo, Britney donned her snowshoes and braved temperatures in the low teens to knock on the doors of startled Cedar Rapidians to encourage them to vote for "her man Mike"! Based on recent polling, whatever she's doing seems to be working!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wow! This is an EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE!! That's right-- it's DOUBLE EXCLUSIVE! In an attempt to mend fences over his embarrassing past opinion on what should be done with AIDS patients, Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee met with America's favorite Lesbian, Rosie O'Donnell! My sources tell me that while the meeting began in a highly tense, strained manner, Ms O'Donnell was won over by F*ckabee's folksy humor and animalistic good looks! It wasn't long before the meeting became extremely hot and sweaty, with the two allegedly making not just an exchange of ideas, but of bodily fluids as well! As we can see from this extremely dubious photo taken just after the meeting, Rosie still appears a bit flushed from the experience, while "F*ckabee" looks as smooth and cool as ever! Does nothing rattle this man???
I'm calling this hot new couple "Huckadonnell!"
Posted by Ricky Sprague at 7:32 AM
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I'm referring to this. The author of the article treats it facetiously, but it's no secret that the key to giving "rights" to cartoon animals is granting them legal status as sentient beings, i.e. beings required and able to provide testimony in a court case. Now, it appears, that's what has happened here thanks to a "clerical error." Yes, and let's just look into the backgrounds of these clerks who have committed this "error." Will we find that they're members of the Animation Liberation Front?
I'm reminded in a roundabout way of the famous Boop V. Boston case, in which the cartoon character Betty Boop was brought up on obscenity charges by the Boston City Attorney. I wonder if Disney and Warner Bros will go to the lengths of Fleisher's in the Boop case, in which they actually hired a young woman to portray Ms Boop in court? Her testimony, full of absurd non-sequiturs and biting satire, was released as a record (unfortunately only available on a 78 rpm vinyl) and became a minor novelty hit, overshadowing Glen Miller's controversial song about Italians, which was released around the same time. By the way, the Boop V Boston case revolved around an animated stag film entitled "Buried Treasure," in which the character of Ms Boop didn't actually appear.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
As anyone who's anyone knows, I am a consummate insider as regards the Hollywood movie business, in constant demand for my insider status. It is for that reason that my box office predictive abilities are both spot-on and heavily sought-after. This weekend I offer my predictions for what promises to be one of the most volatile in recent memory, with several high-profile openings. So without further ado, let's, shall we?
1. ENCHANTMENT: This enchanting film continues to enchant, already earning an enchanting amount of money at the box office (high millions of dollars). What I'm hearing from my gurus is that it will still have enough of the old enchantment to hold off all of the newcomers to retain the #1 position, by making a respectable $223,456,784.23, for a modest 45% drop from last week's grosses. (By the way, my gurus were able to give me such a specific amount because they travelled back in time from last Tuesday when the actual numbers will be released. Thank gosh for time-travel, but too bad it has no other applications!)
2. THIS CHRISTMAS: Audiences will continue to mistake this film for the actual holiday "Christmas," and will continue showing up expecting presents. When they see only "this" film, they will be disappointed. Expect a drop of about 54% from last weekend, resulting in a $678 million weekend, for a hot new cume of $432 million.
3. THE GOLDEN COMPASS: Do not mess with God. God will smite you if you make a movie about how rotten He is, and from what I've read, that's exactly what this movie is about. Apparently, Nicole Kidman plays a woman with a pet bear who finds out that God (Daniel Craig) is working as a male escort at an erotic bar known as "The Golden Compass." She goes to the bar to purchase His services, but God says that she is too old for him. She sends the bear in after Him, but it turns out that God likes bears, so they go out for drinks. Actually, I'm not sure why God hates this movie, if my synopsis is accurate, but no matter. I expect a lower-than-expected $234 million weekend, because God is against it.
4. FRED CLAUS: When Santa's favorite elf walks in on Santa and Mrs Claus during an intimate moment, he learns an important lesson about life. In French with English subtitles.
Oh, wait, sorry, that's actually the plot of my own film, "Joyeux du Oignon et Noel," which can be viewed at Funny or Die.
5. THE WALKER: Woody Harrelson stars in Paul Schrader's reimagining of Chuck Norris' classic television series "Walker, Texas Ranger," only this time Walker isn't a Texas Ranger, he's in the CIA, and he's working at Guantanamo Bay, violating the civil rights of POWs. Although films about the "War on Terror" tend not to do well, Chuck Norris is a perennial favorite, and he's back in the spotlight thanks to his scintillating endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. I expect his fans to show up in droves for this one, resulting in a $34 million Friday, $12 million Saturday, and $5.65 Sunday, for a staggering cume of whatever those numbers add up to.
6. BAYWOLF: Another television remake, but with a twist, as your favorite "Baywatch" characters are stricken with lycanthropy. Can the beach survive if it's patrolled by werewolves? Will furry breasts be as interesting as hairless ones, especially when they're bouncing in slow-motion? Audiences will continue hitting this mix of live action and animation for the answer (Which is a resounding "No."). I'm expecting this film to up its cume to about $589 million, although to be fair I don't have the actual numbers in front of me right now, I seem to have misplaced them.
7. ATONEMENT: December is typically the time of year when the studios release their prestige, "serious" films, and they don't come much more serious than "Atonement." Not knowing what that word meant, I recently looked it up in the dictionary, and discovered that it means this:
1: obsolete : reconciliation
2: the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ
3: reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
4: Christian Science : the exemplifying of human oneness with God
If you want to watch a movie about all that, be my guest. A $456 million weekend should surprise everyone.
8. BEE GANGSTER: Jerry Seinfeld stars as a hitman who also happens to be a lovable bee! He gets chased by Russell Crowe, a tough as nails exterminator with the NYPD. In the end, Denzel Washington crushes the bee and he and Russell Crowe get together and win a bunch of acting awards. Look for this film to continue its blistering box office pace; a $389 million weekend will bring this film's cume to a startling $8963293 million, which is a lot of millions.
9. THE TRAILER FOR "THE DARK KNIGHT": Though it's only a trailer, anticipation for Christopher Nolan's latest Batman epic is so high that people are actually standing in line to plunk down $7.50-$18.00 (depending on where you live) to catch two minutes of promotional footage! This trailer should make an astonishing amount of money, but I won't tell you my guess until next Monday!
10. STEPHEN KING'S GROCERY LIST: Director Frank Darabont breathes chilling cinematic life into one of horror author Stephen King's grocery lists! Flour; kosher salt; cracked pepper; celery; onion; garlic; carrots; parsley; veal! Dear gosh, what could he have been preparing to cook??? Only those with a strong stomach will dare brave this terrifying film for the shocking twist answer! A $214 million weekend will bring this film's cume to an impressive yet disappointing eleventy-five million.
So much for this week's top ten! I expect it to be as accurate as last week's (I'm nothing if not consistent)!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Now that he's gained the coveted endorsements of Tim LaHaye, coauthor of some of the most compelling works of fiction of the last 20 years, and Chuck Norris, hero to metrosexual hillbillies everywhere, it seems insurgent Republican presidential candidate Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee has gotten a bit "cocky"! His escapades with Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton, one of the Olsen twins, and (possibly) Britney Spears were bad enough, but now he's been seen stepping out with ("allegedly") closeted "High School Musical" star Zac Efron, in this dubious at best photo! My sources tell me that F*ckabee has been trying to pry little man Zac away from his ("alleged") beard, Vanessa Hudgens, for several months now, and is delighted that "Zacky-poo" (as F*ckabee calls him) invited him to the Australian preem of "Hairspray!" Reports are that the two canoodled for about half the screening, then took off for parts unknown in a Hummer! (Maybe they didn't drive off in a Hummer, but my sources allege that there was a "Hummer" somewhere in that story!)
Henceforward, this cute couple shall be referred to as "HuckaZac"! Good luck, HuckaZac! Let's hope you last longer than Huckahouse did!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Today I received in the mail a copy of the ultra-scarce compilation "Orange is the Color of The Charnel House", bid and won on eBay for the extremely low price of $473. It features stories by some of the greats of surrealism and what's become known as "masochism lit," authors such as Andre Breton, Fernand Dumont, Gisele Prassinos, X. Chalquez, and of course my own beloved Joel S. Muttoe, whom I consider to be one of the two or three best writers of all time.
I first discovered the obscure and belligerent Mr Muttoe's (1889-1952) works in high school, from that famous reference in Burroughs' "Naked Lunch," the line "like something out of Muttoe's wettest nightmare." I searched and finally found a copy of his collection "The Dreaming Gazelle," which features his most famous story (the one you probably know), "Lover's Infection," along with other greats like "Slab Sputum," and the title story.
"Rebarbative Threnody" is a story I'd heard about but never actually read, since it has not been reprinted except in "Charnel House." I'm so excited that I've decided to go ahead and scan the pages in here, mostly for historical/educational purposes (and please credit me if you reference this blog entry), since to my knowledge it's mostly impossible to find. One word of warning, however: This story is extremely bleak. It is lovely and beautiful, as are all of Muttoe's works, but it is bleak. This is not hyperbole. It is the bleakest story I have ever willingly read from beginning to end more than five times.
(By the way, I'd like to take issue with the editor's introduction to the story: Muttoe could be surprisingly "glass-half-full"-- I offer his "The Kite Story" as an example.)
Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Republican Presidential hopeful Mike "F*ckabee" Huckabee is at it again-- this time with troubled soul-songstress Amy Winehouse! As you can see from this highly dubious photo, the two took advantage of Winehouse's husband's incarceration to hit the town together in style! My sources tell me that while F*ckabee's friends say Winehouse is "no good," she "sends him flying" when they "pump!" And while Winehouse's family is hopeful that between F*ckabee's conversations with God, he'll influence her to go back to "rehab," F*ckabee actually wants her to stay out so he doesn't have to "wake up alone!"
The two got into the minivan in the picture and drove off, reportedly to indulge in F*ckabee's drug of choice, OxyContin!
My clever romantic name for these two lovebirds: "Huckahouse"!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
This is the most astonishingly successful animated video in the history of the internet. No other animation has ever achieved the elusive "30K". I am humbled to be the first to create something has done so.
Here I have embedded it again-- the crown jewel in the crown of my current animation empire: